Around two in five Americans plan to start a business at some point this year, with 62% of people pointing to the wish to earn more money as the top reason for becoming an entrepreneur. The top startup niches include IT, accommodation and food, health care/social assistance, manufacturing, and retail trade. As you explore business opportunities, keep in mind that more founders are also willing to step outside their comfort zone to launch authentic niche businesses that are characterized by their unique appeal to consumers.
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Niches for Startups
In case you have a startup idea, and you are wondering if it is too unusual, take note of a few unusual niches for startup founders that are doing a roaring trade.
1. Metals-Backed Cryptocurrency
During times of recession, investment in metals gains a growing importance, and the demand for these commodities rises significantly. There are many ways people can invest in gold, silver, and other metals. Bullion is a classic choice, though those seeking a higher return on their investment are looking into metals-backed cryptocurrency. Startup founders in this field are creating digital currencies that are directly linked to the value of the precious metal they represent. The value of this type of investment for clients is twofold: first, it offers an easy way to buy and sell metal investments. Secondly, it enables clients to opt for fractional ownership. That is, they can invest in smaller units of metals if acquiring this product individually is prohibitive.
2. Virtual Reality Therapy
VR and AR have already revolutionized clothes and jewelry shopping, and they are keen on doing the same in the health industry. One startup that is showing how effective VR can be for mental health care is Amelia Virtual Care (formerly known as Psious). This company provides a virtual reality platform that therapists use to perform mental health assessments and interventions. The platform is currently being used to introduce patients to mindfulness-based interventions, aid in substance abuse recovery, and provide optimal EDMR treatment. VR is already being used to fulfill various aims, including increasing empathy in doctors, diminishing pain, improving memory and cognitive functions, and more.
3. Innovate Biodegradable Packaging
Startups like Evocative are creating environmentally friendly, biodegradable packaging alternatives to plastic. They are utilizing a plethora of sustainable materials, including mycelium—the underground network of thread-like structures called hyphae that make up the vegetative part of fungi. Mycelium is currently considered the greenest alternative to styrofoam.
It is light, cheap, and strong, and it can be molded into any shape the manufacturer wishes it to. Evocative makes both 100% mycelium products and a composite product called MycoComposite. The latter employs mycelium to bind together agricultural by-products, like wood chips and straw, to create rigid structures that can be used for protective packaging.
4. Urban Farming
It’s no secret that Americans’ thumbs are greener than ever, with 67% of them currently growing or planning to grow edible plants. The combination of post-COVID wisdom, rising grocery prices, and the threat of a recession are propelling individuals to become more self-reliant than ever, and having a home garden can save a family around $2400 per year.
Top startups to look to for inspiration include AeroFarms and Bifarm, which are bringing agriculture to urban zones through space-saving, vertical gardening techniques such as hydroponics and aeroponics. The latter is a special type of hydroponics that relies on mist rather than flowing water. Vegetables are grown in a narrow tower that makes the ideal “home” for just about any product you can think of!
5. Niche Venture Firms
Tech Crunch has referred to niche venture firms as a “baby trend” that is garnering great interest for those who enjoy watching how this industry moves. It is the trend for investing in niches that are so small or specific that, at first glance, it almost seems impossible. As such, there are venture firms solely focused on the tech that can contain wildfires or one that is solely dedicated to the technology used in a specific medical specialty.
This type of investment actually makes sense when you consider that the funds may contain several investors that belong to one industry and wish to invest in it for their own ultimate benefit. As stated by Tech Crunch, there are many startup opportunities for narrow niches. These include dental insurance, telehealth services, mobile dentistry, dental implant surgery business, and more.
Construction Tech Startups
Technology investors are taking less risky decisions and looking firmly in the direction of construction tech. Take the new startups Alice Technologies and Join, both of which secured funding to solve a big conundrum in construction—efficient project planning. Alice Technologies is the perfect example of how useful construction tech can be for boosting efficiency and cost savings. It works this way: the contractor/client feeds blueprints to the Alice platform.
The latter relies on AI to run them through millions of execution scenarios, taking into account a myriad of variables—including materials, methods, and labor. It then presents the best options for bringing the plans to fruition, allowing clients to spend less, complete projects fastest, and take the smallest risk. The technology isn’t fixed, either. If the project comes across an unexpected obstacle, then Alice updates its protocol suggestions.
Alice saves the average project 17% time-wise and 13% on labor and equipment costs. It can be used for commercial projects as well as for public infrastructures such as tunnels.
Americans are more and more interested in launching startups as a way to boost their income and quality of life. Niche startups abound, and some of the most interesting industries covered include metals-backed crypto, VR mental health therapy, and innovative biodegradable packaging. Urban farming is another hobby that is bound to rise, as consumers begin experiencing the joy of relying on their own efforts to feed their family healthy, seasonal produce.
Niche venture firms are another well-kept secret. They are being embarked upon by industry professionals who wish to make profits while also improving the state of their industry. Finally, construction tech startups are helping constructors make serious savings by relying on AI to come up with the speediest, cheapest, least risky options.
Their results are impressive, with companies who have already relied on their products boasting that their revenue has considerably increased thanks to AI technology.